Eva Amurri Martino’s Los Angeles Adventuring Guide

Guest Editor: Eva Amurri Martino, Actress and Lifestyle + Parenting Blogger at Happily Eva AfterEVA MAIN PHOTO

Photo: Courtesy of Eva Amurri Martino

As a self-employed working Mom who works primarily from home, I feel like I am constantly struggling with my own work/life balance.  Marlowe is at the age now (almost ONE!) where she is very aware of where Mommy is at any given moment, especially when I’m working in my home office.  I can hear the shuffle of her crawl as she makes her way around the corner to my office every hour or so.  I end up feeling guilty to have to literally shut Marlowe out for hours of the day while she knows I’m right behind the door, but I also feel so lucky that I get to walk in to the next room and see my little baby if I ever need a squeeze.  This dynamic has really encouraged me to make the most of my time with my daughter on the weekends and free days, and I have especially loved taking her on mother-daughter adventures.  I find Los Angeles to be so wonderfully baby-friendly.  With the excellent year-round weather, healthy food trends, and laid-back vibe, Marlowe and I are able to go on little outings that we both enjoy.  Here are my greatest hits for baby-friendly adventuring in Los Angeles:pea in the pod granville 2

Photo: Courtesy of Eva Amurri Martino

FOOD

Granville Café:  This restaurant features healthy Californian fare at its best.  I love how spacious and easygoing this restaurant is.  Your kid can drop food and cutlery on the floor and nobody bats an eye, and it’s way classier than McDonald’s! Marlowe loves the hummus appetizer.

Ink Sack:  This place has hands-down the yummiest sandwiches around.  There’s something for everyone, including super delicious home made Maryland crab chips! My favorite sandwich is the Pork Banh mi– it’s outstanding. You can eat here, but I prefer picking up some bagged lunches to go for our more far-flung adventures.

Pitfire Pizza: Great pizza, excellent wine and beer on hand, and an extremely family-friendly vibe.  Everyone I know brings their kids here for a last minute meal.Pea in the pod The Coop 2

Photo: Courtesy of Eva Amurri Martino

PLAY

The COOP: This indoor play place is fun, easy, and cool.  There is a ball pit and climbing structure with a slide, as well as a bouncy house, craft room, and outdoor play area that features a teepee reading nook.  The hang area for parents even has magazines, a coffee bar, and wifi!

The Butterfly Pavilion @ The Natural History Museum:  This extraordinary experience is a must-do!  Running until September 7th, buying tickets to this exhibit grants you and your little ones access to a stunning butterfly habitat!  Once inside, you are surrounded by more than 53 different butterfly species.   Some may even land on you, making for an frame-worthy photo-op!

Underwood Family Farms: This farm is my pick for a more outside the box adventure.  With a petting zoo, train town, hayrides, as well as pick-your-own fruit and vegetable fields, it is a family friendly activity for multiple age groups.  They even have a farmer’s market to get your grocery shopping done on the run!Pea in the pod Eggy 1

Photo: Courtesy of Eva Amurri Martino

SHOP

Earth Baby:  This little local gem is my pic for earth-friendly and organic-loving Mamas!  They have the largest selection of cloth diapering accessories in town, and lots of all-natural toys and bath products. I purchased Marlowe’s amber teething necklace here.  Organic vending machines are on-site for a little afternoon sweet treat.

Eggy:  Ask any stylish LA Mommy which local kids stores she loves and she is sure to include Eggy.  The clothes and accessories in this boutique are so chic and beautiful that you’ll wish they made them in your size.  I’ve found some sweet hair clips for Marlowe here, and it is also a perfect store for gifting!

Firefly Kids:  This west side staple carries super cute, modern pieces for babies and kids as well as an impressive toy selection.  I love going here to find unusual and adorable books.Pea In The Pod adventuring essentials

Photo: Courtesy of Eva Amurri Martino

LA ESSENTIALS:

UPPAbaby Vista Stroller: I use this stroller with Marlowe and love how sturdy it is as well as having an excellently smooth ride.  The basket is the largest of any stroller I’ve used and perfect for picking up souvenirs on your adventures with baby!

Lollacup: This is my favorite sippy cup to tote around. It’s made of BPA free plastic, and features a straw with a sliding cap to cover and keep it clean! Plus, it looks super cute.

Inglesina Fast Table Chair: If you get nothing else, get this! This was a random gift that I didn’t even register for, and it has been one of my favorite baby items ever.  It changes the game when it comes to dining out with baby, since it puts them level with the table in a totally safe and secure position.  They feel like they’re a part of the action and end up being much better behaved.  This can be used as a regular high chair for space-challenged families, too!

Snack Container: I love this one from Weestructed, and fill it with lots of puffs and crackers in case we hit traffic and the baby starts to have a meltdown.

Tokidoki x Ju.Ju.Be Diaper Bag: This bag has it all.  It’s machine washable, wipeable, and has tons of pockets and partitions.  It also looks super graphic and cool which is extra Mama-friendly.  We’re the ones who have to carry it around!

Blogger Lillies & León on Preparing for Baby Number Two

Guest Editor: Nicole Vargas, Lillies and León

IMG_9883Photo: Courtesy of Nicole VargasIMG_6863Photo: Courtesy of Nicole VargasIMG_9875Photo: Courtesy of Nicole Vargas

Here we are with 10 weeks left to go in my second pregnancy, but baby girl and I are hanging in there! My first pregnancy was a breeze- this time around, though, has proven to be a bit tougher. All day sickness for the first four months and running after a toddler are a terrible combination. So I have been keeping it simple with a few maternity staples like these jeans and this tee – both of which I wear several times a week- sshhh!

However, regardless of the exhaustion, I am so excited to be having a girl! We shared the news with our son early on and up until recently he refused to accept that he was having a sister – he was rooting for a boy. He has slowly, but surely, come around and I can see the excitement growing about bringing home our little girl. As far as preparing him for a new sibling, a friend of mine recommended reading books with him on becoming a big brother. I also talk to him a little each day about his sister and let him feel my belly when she kicks, which he loves.

We don’t want to overwhelm Lucas, our son, with “baby things” though. When she arrives we will have him help with daily tasks in order to make him feel like he is a part of her routine. For example, we are planning to keep a basket of diapers within his reach so that he can help mommy and daddy during changes by passing us her diaper.

When I became pregnant again, if I’m being honest, for a while I suffered from a bit of mama guilt. I’d look at Lucas and think, “He’s not my baby anymore!” I was concerned about him not being our sole focus. As time has gone on, the excitement has grown and the feelings of guilt are fading away. I just can’t wait to see my children together and watch as they form an incredible brother and sister bond. We are absolutely thrilled to have our baby girl join the family!

One of the greatest things about having been pregnant before is knowing what expecting styles I like and also what children’s products I trust. There are just so many I love! A few of my favorites are Hugo loves tikiFreshly PickedZara KidsAgatha Cub, and Oeuf. I think after the first trimester sickness, I deserve a little retail therapy!  -Nicole

Spotlight on Danielle Walker from Against All Grain

Guest Editor: Danielle Walker, Author and Photographer of Against All Grain

As a working mom, I take any chance I can get to get away with my family and spend some quality time with my son. With one on the way, that time is becoming more valuable than ever, so we took a little vacation to visit family in the mountains for Memorial Day. Eating a healthy diet and teaching my son healthy eating habits is important to me, plus it’s such a fun way for he and I to bond and spend time together. We spent the long weekend making tons of yummy food, snuggling, and playing lots of board games. It was perfect! Read on for a few of the photos I featured on an Instagram takeover for Destination Maternity.IMG_1832Asher is so excited to be a big brother and loves to help in the kitchen!  Photo Credit: Jennifer Skog Photography Get Danielle’s look here.
IMG_1844It was our first day of summer here since this little guy graduated preschool Friday! We decided to take our time getting the day started and snuggled on the couch for a bit. This momma was tired! He munched on a Hidden Veggie Muffin (grain-free and packed with vegetables!) from my first cookbook Against all Grain. Throw some mini dairy-free chocolate chips into them for an extra special treat!IMG_1845 I’ve had to eat a substantial breakfast pretty much first thing during this pregnancy to avoid feeling sick and have energy through the day. I made a scramble with some beautiful farm-fresh pastured eggs, crispy bacon, potatoes, and spinach for everyone Monday morning! Next to prep some festive popsicles and sides.IMG_1849I don’t know why, but I can’t resist fruit when it has the stem and cute leaves still on! These raspberries were in such perfect shape, we picked up some strawberries at the market so my little guy and I made some healthy Popsicles to enjoy. I’ve been craving so much fruit during this pregnancy and frozen fruit is irresistible and so satisfying!IMG_1859We visited family in the mountains and our outdoor plans were postponed by a thunder and hail storm! Puzzles, coloring, board games, and Lego building were in order. Do any of you other pregnant mamas welcome lazy days like this? I know I do! The weather didn’t keep us from barbecuing the tri-tip that’s been marinating though!IMG_1862The weather cleared up and dinner was served! We had marinated tri-tip, grilled asparagus, and a salad with grilled nectarines, prosciutto, walnuts and champagne vinaigrette. What did you have for dinner? IMG_1864For more healthy recipes and ideas, see both of my cookbooks Against all Grain and Meals Made Simple and my recipe app Cookery! And you can always find me here on instagram daily to keep up with my pregnancy, daily eats, family life, and fashion finds! Xo Danielle

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